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2004-08-13 - 11:00 a.m.

I have a fucking rat in my apartment.

A big assed, long tailed, shit furred, fucking rat.

This I cannot abide.

You know, that didn’t have the oomph on it that it should have. Instead imagine me in a hoop skirt, probably power blue, my hair miraculously grown out and tied into two pigtails, my hands in white gloves, taking gentle hold of the banister running along the deck of my plantation home down by the Delta, ever watched over by my octogenarian father, still dressing like he should be selling chicken by the bucket and biscuits used as oyster crackers in a bubbling vat of gravy. There, with the Mississippi sun pulsing down in constant rhythm, I pull up a lace umbrella with the structural integrity to block rays of light, but not, let’s say, the weight of the contents of a glass of the ice tea that my mother makes with such regularity I have to assume it is pouring out of one of her many orifices. Below me on the ground, a paltry suitor seeks my hand, holding three wilted posies and half a shirt. As he reaches for me, the full meaning of my dire situation, my bearing and my place comes bursting forth, dipped and dribbling in the Delta drawl and pride…I look down and curl my fists into little balls, finally exclaiming:

“THIS I CAN-NOT A-BIDE!”

He would then of course be roundly booted off my granddaddy’s land, through no other means than my sheer will and vicious pointing.

Okay…

This barrage of imagery needs to stop, and I need to loose myself from said hoop skirt. To anyone who actually imagined my actual self in the previous description, I apologize.

So…right…the fucking rat.

As is my usual fashion, upon arriving to my spacious hall of a home that regrettably does not have air conditioning, I doffed any and all clothing I could while still maintaining some level of decency. Shoeless, sockless, in an attractive pair of boxers and t-shirt, I sit, happily being tickled by the vocal stylings of a comedian’s newest comedy album. It was then mid-chuckle that the little bastard ambled his way under my computer, no more than a foot and a half from my toesies.

I didn’t jump. I just stared at the spot he’d already skittered out of muttering…

“Mother-fucker.”

A quick inspection around the room, showed no sign of the little guy, so I did the only logical thing I could think of. I took the trash out. I should be at a stage where the invasion of some form of parasitic pest isn’t the only possible impetus for me to clean my sty, but there it is…there it is.

Three bagged boxes of pizza later, I donned shoes, and took my broom from out of the closet, my hunter-gatherer instincts tingling. If you thought the southern belle image above was entertaining, try on the sight of a gangly boy in his boxers trying to flush out the knave of a beast by smacking a plastic broom against the floor while drawing him with taunts including, but not limited to:

“Come on, rat-boy! Let’s dance!”

I searched every wall for some “Tom and Jerry”-esque hole, so I could, I don’t know…pump poison gas in there, or stand just outside with a mallet, or simply place a trap right outside and wait for hilarity to ensue. No luck. The rodent had apparently Mission Impossibled himself in, possibly employing a complicated set of ropes and pulleys. I quickly checked to see if he’d been after the Hope Diamond I keep in a cigar box in my memory drawer. It was still there sparkling at me, but my Tennis Greats trading card set was suspiciously re-ordered.

One o’clock strolled in and with it brought droopy eyelids and the late night car alarm lullaby. I could accept that, for today at least, my hunt was unsuccessful. What I could not accept was the fact that my bed (i.e. futon mattress on the floor.) was vulnerable to enemy attack. The last thing I wanted was to wake up find my new stuffed animal was having a carefree nibble on my nose.

I slept on the love seat, crumpled up, and still clinging to the broom.

This is war, cat-bait. And I have a fucking broom. Bring it.

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